The Mint Blog
Last week I attended the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival - the UK TV industry's annual decampment to the festival city for three boozy days of keynotes and canapés. Post bank-holiday, the dust has just about settled on Elisabeth Murdoch's MacTaggart (read the full text here), which went down pretty well on the ground, and doesn't seem to have ruffled too many feathers elsewhere.
For my part, I was most interested in what Murdoch had to say about what she called the "explosive emergence of a made-for-online video category". MGEITF was "powered by YouTube" - keeping delegates going with a swanky smoothie bar and getting highlights from every session online in the blink of an eye. But it was a small, low-profile panel session called 'Who needs a commission anyway?' that got to the heart of what YouTube means to the industry today.
To preface this, a personal confession: I'm embarrassingly obsessed with watching YouTube 'beauty gurus'. I'm not sure where it comes from - I don't even wear that much make-up - but I just can't stop watching them. My absolute favourite 'guru' (horrible word) is the entirely delightful FleurDeForce, a 24 year old with nearly 400,000 subscribers on her beauty channel, a wildly popular vlogging channel and a bridal channel. She's massive in the States too, with fans queuing for up to 14 hours to meet her at VidCon. A one-woman broadcast network.
So, did you Join In last weekend?
To be honest, when we first started working on the website for Join In - a weekend of free local sport across the country - I didn’t really think I was the target audience. I’m not the sporty type. I think it comes from being a defiantly geeky kid in a house of enthusiastic football fans, and going to an overwhelmingly sports-mad high school alongside the likes of Andy Murray. I still regard the gym as a necessary evil.
But then we had the Olympics. And nobody was more surprised than me at how unexpectedly awesome it all was. I think the thing that I found most inspiring was reflecting on the incredible work ethic, discipline and self-motivation of all those athletes. What if we all applied a similar kind of drive to our working lives? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
I also started thinking about my own attitude to sport because, frankly, it all did look really fun. And so I found myself browsing the lovely Join In site to see what was happening near me. In the end I chose fencing, because I’ve always wanted to try it.
What an amazing few days we have seen at the Olympics. Team GB have done us proud.
What more can be said?
Well, perhaps you start getting that guilty, too-much-sofa feeling. After all, the best part of sport is getting trainers on your feet, air in your lungs and endorphins in your noggin.
Working with a new charity, Join In, Mint built a site that make it easier to do just that, to get involved. Focused on the weekend after the Olympics, it is a celebration of local sport. And you are invited!
A couple of months ago, we excitedly announced the return of Foundry for 2012. Following a call for applications, we took over one of the shipping containers at Boxpark and invited our shortlist down to a day long workshop, as part of Uncontained.
The workshop was lots of fun and the selection process tough, but it now gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the team following the footsteps of Foundry 2011 and Olly. In their own words, they are…
We've just launched Mad World, an interactive audio experience that invites you to take a trip inside three very different brains, brought to life with the help of some mind-blowing binaural audio.
Mad World is the online companion piece to Channel 4's 4 Goes Mad - a season of prime-time programmes challenging mental health stigma and discrimination. The season kicks off on Monday 23rd July, visit the website for more info.
Developed in collaboration with mental health charities Time to Change, Rethink Mental Illness and Mind, Mad World explores three of the most misunderstood mental health conditions – schizophrenia, OCD and bipolar disorder.